Posted by: jim | 2011-10-10

OA - Where to now ?

I have raised this issue partly on this forum over the last few months, but still need some advise.

My wife (aged 55) was diagnosed with OA in April in teh knee. After putting off going for an op she eventually found the pain unbearable and had a scope and clean out about 4 weeks ago.

After the op the pain seamed worse, and eventually the doctor suggested it may be a DVT and she went for a ultrasound scan.

The scan was clear, but the radiologist did say there was a little liquid on the knee. My wife went back to the doctor / specialist with the ultrasound results and he said there was very little else he could do - and gave her some more Celebrex antiimflamitories and pain killers.

He did say it is still early OA, and she may needa knee replacement operation in about 10 years time. Other that that - he was very non-comittal

In the emantime she is in pain constantly, which gets worse at night.

She is also complaining of a single sore toe - but not sure if if is related in any way

Questioning the doctor on the way forward and prognosis yielded no useful information.

The questions that we would like some clarity on are :
a) Are things going to get better by themself ?
b) If so - how long can this take ?
c) Is exercise benificial ?
d) What is the long term prognosis ?
e) Is it possible / likely that the OA will spread to her other knee or any other parts of her body ?
f) What short term actions should she consider
g) What long term actions should be considered ?
h) would weight loss have significant effect ? (She has put on weight lately and i stryingto excersize by walking up to 5 to 7 km)

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Our expert says:
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a) Her condition will not get better by itself.
b) It can be a daily regression with constant pain and I therefore, suggest that you get a second opinion from a specialist, as a knee replacement can resolve her pain completely.
c) Swimming can be beneficial.
d) Knee replacement surgery
e) It is possible that it will only be confined to her knee.
f) There is not much that she can do, except to rest and elevate her knee and to apply hot and cold compresses. Anti-inflammatory drugs can be taken for the pain.
g) Knee replacement surgery.
h) Weight loss can have a dramatic effect.


Dr Anrich

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